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Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 (2 cups) 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce is a simple and delicious 3 ingredient sauce that comes together in 45 minutes.


  • 1 (28-ounce) can of whole San Marzano or Plum tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional garlic clove


  1. Add tomatoes (juices and all), butter, onion, (optional garlic), and salt to a saucepan. Cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened to your liking.
  2. Stir occasionally, crushing any large pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  4. Discard the onion and serve as is or optionally use an immersion blender to blend the tomato chunks into a smoother more uniform texture. This will also slightly thicken the texture of the sauce. If it’s still too thin, you can continue to simmer the sauce after it has been blended.
  5. Serve with your favorite pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


In my tests, San Marzano tomatoes will render a thicker sauce.

You can optionally leave the onion in the sauce if you prefer. I would not blend the entire onion with the rest of the sauce as it could be overwhelming.

The sauce can keep in the fridge for 3-5 days or can be frozen in an airtight container.

If the sauce is too acidic to your taste, you can add a tiny pinch of sugar to balance it out. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon and taste test.


  • Serving Size: 1/4
  • Calories: 141
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 107mg
  • Fat: 14.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.2g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

Keywords: homemade tomato sauce